Yesterday evening, Kate was with 600 other book industry people at the 2010 Book Industry Awards, sponsored by the newly independent The Bookseller at the Royal Courts of Justice (pictured). There have been various awards evenings before, but this was a first shot at pulling them all together, and it worked really well, with compere Clive Anderson delivering about the right mix of cynicism and enthusiasm.
Kate got to go to the knees-up because she’d been on the panel that judged the publishing awards (as opposed to the panel that judged the bookselling awards). She sat next to MD of The Bookseller, Nigel Roby, our host for the evening, who chaired her panel and commented carefully that she’d been “quite… full-on” as a judge. Hmm. Is that good? But she had, he also acknowledged, done her homework. So that is good, right? Anyway, it was good to see the people she thought should win winning, though disconcerting to see her face blown up to the size of a Baltic state on a huge and unforgiving screen.
It is lovely to see people who don’t expect to win accept their awards, and great to see the people who make up the grain of publishing and bookselling – independent booksellers, publicists and rights sellers – winning awards as well as the big players. Perhaps the best moment was Lennie Goodings’ acceptance speech when she and Virago won editor and imprint of the year. Founded in 1973, with Lennie there from 1979, Virago has reinvented itself through changing times while remaining a commercially successful women’s writing imprint with personality and integrity. Kate published a book by Lennie once, and found her as charming and capable an author as she is a publisher.
If you’re interested, here are all the winners, with particular woot woots for the independent children’s bookseller of the year (Main Street Trading Company, St Boswells) and the children’s chain bookseller of the year (W H Smith), both of whom will, we hope, be customers for Nosy Crow books next year.
Kate tweeted the whole event (@nosycrow) which usefully precluded excessive drinking and got her a cheering bunch of new followers (including some kind of association of webcam users in Petersfield, who she doubts will stick around long).